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Kent State University trustees approved a 2 percent tuition increase Wednesday that takes effect this fall.
The increase is projected to raise an additional $6.3 million in annual revenue, said spokesman Eric Mansfield. Combined with the 4.5 percent increase in tuition for the College of Podiatric Medicine, the university estimates collecting $11 million in new tuition revenue next year.
That money will be roughly split between scholarships across the eight-campus system and expenses, including salaries, said Gregg Floyd, senior vice president for finance and administration.
At KSU's Kent campus, the increase will raise tuition to $10,012 per year for undergraduates and $10,652 for graduate students -- an annual increase of $196 and $208, respectively. The same increase impacts tuition rates at KSU's regional campuses as well.
Trustees emphasize that despite rising tuition costs, much of the resulting revenue enables the university to increasingly support freshmen students through scholarships.
"We certainly recognize the challenges many students face with reference to affordability," said Trustee Stephen Colecchi, chairman of the finance and administration committee. "But ... the university has significantly increased the level of financial support provided to students over the past several years."
The 2 percent tuition increase is the maximum allowed under state law.
In June 2013, trustees raised tuition by 1.5 percent. The roughly $4.75 million that increase created was exclusively earmarked for additional student scholarships.
As a result, this past academic year, KSU offered $52.4 million in scholarships to 10,084 students, according to university officials. That's an increase of $6.4 million and 537 student recipients compared with the prior year.
The new revenue is factored into the university's $648 million operating budget that was also approved by trustees Wednesday.
The tuition hike follows increases just under 4 percent to room-and-board rates that also take effect in the fall. Trustees approved those increases in March, which tack on about another $200 a year to student boarding rates. That revenue is earmarked specifically for dorm improvements and maintenance.
Despite the tuition increase, officials say KSU will retain its spot as the seventh cheapest college option out of Ohio's 13 universities.
Note: This story was updated May 29 to reflect the 2 percent tuition increase by itself will raise $6.3 million.
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